The theme of the Sorrowful Virgin Mary in Lithuanian folk art: the question of the derivation and popularity (Summary)

Gabija Surdokaitė-Vitienė (PDF)

The article analyses the subjects of the Sorrowful Virgin Mary and their varieties in Lithuanian folk art. The uneven distribution of the surviving iconographic material in professional and folk art impedes the identification of the prototype. Therefore, this text presents only their interpretive searches. Summarizing the facts discussed in the article, we can state that the iconography of the Sorrowful Virgin Mary and their varieties repeat the common schemes of the European and Lithuanian professional art from the fourteen to the seventeen and from the late sixteen to the eighteen century, respectively. In addition, further research should be directed to the already known German or Polish art and the school of the religious art of the Habsburgs Empire.

The study has shown that in the Lithuanian folk sculpture, we can distinguish three scenes of the Sorrowful Virgin Mary: the Virgin Mary under the Cross, Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows and Our Lady of Pietà. The first two plots are also found in the heritage of professional church art. However, prototypes and analogues of Pietà iconographic type had to be searched in the works of god carvers in Central and Eastern Europe. It was established that the Pietà, carved by folk masters, has preserved the oldest varieties of the late Gothic. However, the development of this iconographic type was also influenced by Baroque ecclesiastical art.

Keywords: Sorrowful Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Pietà, iconography, Lithuanian church art, tradition